Called to act: Black trans rights matter

Black Trans Rights Matter

Professor Martin Milton is Professor of Counselling Psychology in the School of Psychotherapy and Psychology.

June is Pride month. But this year, it’s Pride month with a difference. The pandemic has cancelled the parades and, at the same time, the killing of George Floyd has illuminated the fact that racism is everywhere, playing out interpersonally and systemically with fatal consequences. 

Black Lives Matter asks each of us to think about our role in a system that has racism woven into it. British journalist and author Reni Eddo-Lodge reminds how this attitude and its insidious practices are embedded in education, economics and public policy. 

The world is being called to act. The same way people everywhere have come together to fight COVID-19, people are rising to call time on racism. The pandemic of racism – as Benjamin Crump has called it – has to be faced as urgently as we are attending to the coronavirus. 

In our community, it comes together far too often in hate expressed towards trans people of colour. There is bullying and verbal abuse, acts of physical violence and of course, an appalling number of trans people of colour being murdered. 

So, as we celebrate Pride this year, we should be mindful that it is not just a party. It was, and it remains, a protest against inequality and injustice. 

Our Regent's community can take the opportunity to stop and think. To look at ourselves and explore the ways that racism contaminates our communities and our spaces. In particular, we need to consider the multiple injustices black trans people have to navigate. We need to consider how we become the best possible community we can be, we want to be and should be. Allies need to work together against the homophobia, transphobia and racism – or the intersection of them all – we confront. 

This is the month to start a truly intersectional challenge to hate and injustice.